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A remarkable set of battlements is noticeable at every turn in the road, running impressively along the wadi and making Bahla one of the most comprehensive walled cities in the world. These walls extend for several kilometres and are said to have been designed 600 years ago by a woman. Part and parcel of the battlements is the impressive fort, built by the Bani Nebhan tribe who were dominant in the area from the 12th to the 15th centuries.
After many years of restoration, Bahla Fort, which is one of the most comprehensive in Oman, is now open to the public and easily proves why it was granted Unesco World Heritage Site status in 1987. There are a few interpretative panels and some tourist information, and you can gain a further idea of the purpose of each room by referring to the website.
The surrounding mud-brick settlement is a fine example of a medieval Islamic community organised around the falaj (irrigation channels). It is better to explore the twisting lanes on foot.